Merck Foundation Honors Exceptional Researchers with the 2022 MARS Awards

Poster of the winners - MARS Awards 2022

Merck Foundation, an arm of Merck KGaA Germany, has announced the winners of Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit (MARS) Awards 2022. Seven researchers from 7 different African countries were recognized for two categories – Best African Women Researchers and Best Young African Researchers.

The awards, which are in collaboration with the African Union's Scientific Technical Research Commission, honour African researchers for their significant research contributions and efforts in promoting women and youth in STEM in Africa, with a specific emphasis on research in infectious diseases and cancer. The winners will receive training at a leading research institute in India.

“Like every year since 2016, I am extremely proud of MARS winners who have been recognized under the two categories of ‘Best African Women Researchers Awards’ and ‘Best Young African Researcher Awards’ for their valuable contribution in research, especially by African Female Researchers who are under presented in this field, as we all know,” Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit said.

MARS 2022 had scientific support from African Union Scientific, Technical and Research Commission (AU-STRC), Infectious Diseases Institute, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Graduate School.

The MARS 2022 Award Best African Women Researchers are:

Gladys Kaba, Ghana, Topic: Diversity of Cervicovaginal Human Papillomavirus Genotypes and Naturally Occurring E6/E7 DNA Sequence Polymorphism: A Study Among Selected Women with Clinical Suspicion of Cancer of the Cervix or Diagnosed Cervix Cancer/Precancer Cases in Ghana

Amaya Jobin Habila, Nigeria - Topic: Evaluation Of The Immunoprotective Potential Of Trypanosoma Brucei Glycerol Kinase In Mice

Shingirai Chiwambutsa, South Africa - Topic: Effect of genetic polymorphism and co-medications on tamoxifen metabolising enzymes and plasma levels of endoxifen in black South African breast cancer patients

Ededia Firdawoke, Ethiopia - Topic: HPV in women with invasive cervical cancer lesion and cancer: the use of urine as an adjunct specimen

The MARS 2022 Award Best Young African Researchers are:

Abu Bakarr Kamara, Sierra Leone - Topic: Safety and immunogenicity of an Ad26.ZEBOV booster dose among children previously vaccinated with the two-dose heterologous Ad26.ZEBOV and MVA-BN-Filo Ebola vaccine regimen

Fongang Che Landis, Cameroon - Topic: Effectiveness of Mhealth (Text Messages) in Enhancing Cervical Cancer Screening uptake among Women in the North-West Region of Cameroon

Eze Ajaegbu, Nigeria - Topic: Anticancer agents from Millettia aboensis root.

MARS aims to contribute to building research capacity in the African research community.

Photo courtesy /  Merck Foundation

Article by Jedidah Mwangi